Liverpool missed the chance to book their place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League last night after being held to a 1-1 draw by Napoli at Anfield. [via Sky Sports]
The holders had to come from behind to avoid a second defeat to the Italian club in Group E, with Dejan Lovren’s 65th-minute header cancelling out Dries Mertens’ first-half goal for the visitors (as per Sky Sports).
The Reds’ frustration was compounded by a first-half injury to Fabinho, who was forced off with a knee problem and replaced by Georginio Wijnaldum.
While the Brazilian endured an abortive night, another of his midfield colleagues showed his value to Jurgen Klopp’s team with a well-rounded display at Anfield.
Aside from once again displaying tremendous versatility to drop back from midfield to defence, the 33-year-old showed strong qualities both on and off the ball.
He provided one of Liverpool’s five shots on target and sent in four accurate crosses, the most of anyone for the Reds, as well as recording a passing success rate of 88.7% and whipping in the corner from which Lovren equalised.
Milner also did his bit in winning possession for the home side at Anfield, succeeding with two tackles and three aerial duels, as per WhoScored.
His busy performance did not go unnoticed by The Independent or The Mirror, both of whom awarded him an eight in their player ratings, with The Mirror‘s Andy Dunn saying that he “got through an absurd amount of work as he usually does”.
He earned a seven from Sky Sports‘ Nick Wright, who wrote that he “battled gamely at both ends” and was “one of Liverpool’s better players”.
Gideon Brooks of the Daily Express was less charitable with his assessment of Milner, awarding him only a six and simply describing his performance as “gritty and determined”.
The 33-year-old’s contribution with the ball would suggest that his performance had more to it than just grit and determination, while his involvement in the goal and willingness to alternate between positions showed how important he is to this Liverpool side.
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